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TINGVONG

The film illustrates the changes the Lepcha of the Dzongu reserve, North Sikkim, have been through in the last 60 years. From the 1940s, the Lepcha of Tingvong village gradually abandoned hunting, gathering and the slash and burn cultivation of dry rice, and became settled agriculturalists. Entire mountainsides were converted to cardamom and terraced for the cultivation of irrigated paddy. The irrigated rice and the cardamom cash crop not only brought the Lepcha within Sikkim's market economy but helped create a surplus which could among other things be invested in religion. In the1940s, the Lepcha of Tingvong embraced Buddhism and all its complex rituals without however abandoning their strong shamanic traditions.

TANTRIC YOGI

Jim Broadbent narrates this eventful and comic road trip, a kind of Tibetan Canterbury Tales - by bus, tractor and boat. A village in eastern Tibet sets out on a cross-country pilgrimage led by its Chief Tantric Yogi (Wangdrak) to the One Hundred Thousand Gathering, which takes place only once every 60 years. Struggling with their huge bread offering across mountain and vale, the pilgrims encounter all kinds of obstacles and arrive at the Namdzong Gathering late, where they find panic in the monastery.

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